Good news! We have likely identified one fungal species that may lead to the lesions we have seen on the mangrove leaves. Preliminary data suggest that a Pestalotiopsis species (an Ascomycete fungus) may be a player in generating the lesions we see on the leaves in The Marls. Interestingly, this species has been found to cause leaf spots in Florida.
Though we may have one fungi identified, there is still a ton of lab work ahead to determine if this species is the actual cause of the lesions. Our next steps are to infect healthy red mangrove leaves with Pestalotiopsis to see if we can elicit the same lesions we find in the field. We also have several other fungal colonies that need to be identified so stay tuned for more updates!